TL; DR: Apple has confirmed that certain AirPods Pro units experience sound issues in noisy environments, resulting in strange noise cancellation behavior, strange noises, or noises. In response, Apple rolled out its AirPods Pro service program, where owners of the faulty headphones can be replaced for free.
The Apple Services Program explains that this issue affects a small percentage of AirPods Pro units manufactured before October 2020. Owners of a pair of defective headphones will experience a buzzing or static sound. Increase when exercising, talking on the phone or in noisy environments. Other issues can appear with headphones’ Active Noise Cancellation, which can include unwanted bass loss or a sudden increase in background noise.
According to Apple, AirPods manufactured after October 2020 will not be affected by this issue.
While annoying, the good news is that the affected AirPods Pro can be redeemed for free at an Apple Store or an Apple Authorized Service Provider. Apple explains that employees will test the headphones to determine if one or both is affected, before arranging for a free replacement. The AirPods case is unaffected by the issue and will not need replacement.
Apple̵7;s AirPods Pro were released in October 2019, which means anyone who buys the earphones during the first year of availability could be affected by this issue. AirPods Pro owners have been complaining for months about cracking, static, and weird noise-canceling behaviors, and Apple recently acknowledged the problem and is doing it right.
If you own a pair of affected AirPods Pro, you have two years from the date of the original sale to access Apple’s replacement program.